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Tampa Bay Rays ownership is spitting in their fan’s faces by trading Blake Snell.
After serving as the AL East’s doormat for a decade, long after the grace period for expansion teams like the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays ended, the Rays completely changed the philosophy of their organization, creating a style of baseball, management, and organization that is reliant on advanced statistics and data over spending huge sums of money. While they have won the pennant twice in 12 seasons, Tampa Bay has had difficulty sustaining that success, as the organization’s code of conduct states that players like ace starter Blake Snell should be traded at peak value for a haul of prospects in order to keep payroll low.
After trading Snell to the San Diego Padres just a few months removed from Kevin Cash pulling him in Game 6 of the World Series, the Rays are showing their fans that getting a stadium in Tampa as opposed to St. Petersburg and putting together a team that can contend every year is a nice idea, but only if it makes financial sense.
The Rays have once again let go of a potential building block in the name of financial flexibility
The Rays are owned by a man in Stuart Steinberg who is worth $800 million, and they have rarely been so bad in the last few years that they are selling away spare parts in the last few months of the season. Because of this, ownership trying to cry poor or blame fans for a lack of support rings hollow.
Do you know what would get more fans behind you, Stu? Building a team that can actually sustain success, not just selling off stars for pennies on the dollar in order to avoid giving them a new contract. If GM Erik Neander is unwilling to do this, give him the axe.
Rays fans deserve ownership and a front office that will put a stadium in Tampa and put the team’s record above all else. With the Steinberg-Neander project likely not going anywhere anytime soon after 2020, fans need to brace for what could be a challenging period.